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Evercore ISI Sees Holiday 'Headline Risk' For These 3 Mall REITs

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Evercore ISI Sees Holiday 'Headline Risk' For These 3 Mall REITs
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  • Evercore ISI has downloaded mall REITs ahead of what it predicts will be a weak holiday retail season.
  • Although the firm believes that the lackluster retail performance will have relatively little impact on FFO for mall REITs, Evercore sees major headline risk ahead.
  • The firm remains bullish on storage REITs headed into 2016.
  • The holiday season is the strongest time of year for many retailers, but Evercore ISI analyst Steve Sakwa predicts that this will be a difficult year for retailers. While this thesis is bad news for retailers, Sakwa believes that the weak holiday spending will also have a major impact on mall REITs.

    Downgrades

    Sakwa sees little impact to funds from operations (FFO) for the class A mall REITs in Q4 or into 2016, but he believes that negative holiday headlines from Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE: M), Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN) and Gap Inc (NYSE: GPS) will produce selling pressure in the mall REIT space.

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    Evercore has downgraded mall REITs Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE: SPG), General Growth Properties Inc (NYSE: GGP) and Taubman Centers, Inc. (NYSE: TCO) from Buy to Hold ahead of the holiday season.

    Other REIT Groups

    Sakwa believes that the apartment REITs will likely be net sellers in 2016, but pointed out that most are in relatively good liquidity positions. Healthcare REITs, on the other hand, will likely spend 2016 moving to de-lever balance sheets and eliminate non-core assets.

    For lodging REITs, Sakwa feels that investors remain skittish due to the weak macro environment, and the industry will need to focus on strategies for narrowing the disparity between equity values and net asset values (NAVs). All indications from industrial owners in Q3 point to continuing strength in office/industrial REITs.

    “Across The Board” Strength In Storage

    Sakwa believes that storage REITs will continue to lead in Q4 and into 2016, and they have demonstrated recent results that were “strong across the board.” Evercore ISI’s top two picks are Buy-rated CubeSmart (NYSE: CUBE) and Sovran Self Storage Inc (NYSE: SSS).

    Disclosure: The author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.

    Image Credit: Public Domain

    Latest Ratings for M

    DateFirmActionFromTo
    Feb 2017Atlantic EquitiesUpgradesNeutralOverweight
    Feb 2017SusquehannaInitiates Coverage OnNeutral
    Jan 2017BuckinghamDowngradesBuyNeutral

    View More Analyst Ratings for M
    View the Latest Analyst Ratings

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